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Thread: Arizona in 1861

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    Default Arizona in 1861

    Doing a little light reading in my spare time, thought fellow Arizonians & others may find it interesting also. It is a letter & diary kept by Samuel Robinson who was the accountant for the Santa Rita silver mining co. The diary runs from Apr 29, 1861 through Aug 23rd. I thought I'd post the daily diary entries on the same dates as Sam did 148 years ago....unless I have something more important to do, which seems unlikely, or I just forget, which is not at all unlikely.

    The Santa Rita mining co was one of the earliest American mining efforts in the new Gadsden purchase, still part of New Mexico terr at that time. Most of the prominent players in Arizona then crossed paths on a regular basis. William Wrightson, Horace Grosvenor, Gilbert Hopkins, Maj Samuel Heintzelman, Charles & John Poston, Raphael Pumpelly, Frederick Brunckow, Herman Ehrenberg, Sylvester Mowry...

    The terr was thick with bandits, both Mexican & American, & especially the Apaches. Some prominant landmarks are named for the brave souls that succomed to these dangers. The Santa Rita mtns two highest peaks are mt's Wrightson & Hopkins. The rolling hills just south of the old hacienda are the Grosvenor hills.

    Samuel Robinson

    Southern Arizona in 1861

    The Santa Rita Hacienda, mining co HQ
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    Last edited by Vulture; 05-15-2009 at 02:29 PM.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Robinson started the diary after the murder of Horace Grosvenor by Apaches. Grosvenor had failed to return after going out alone to check on a wagon..."After the moon rise Mr Pumpelly & I started out to see what was the matter...Tom the cat was following us keeping up a constant crying. We finally saw a light a short distance ahead which we supposed to be a camp fire but soon came to the conclusion it was flour shinning in the moonlight. We pressed on & found the wagon standing on the bank of the Aroyo. On approaching about 20 yards of the wagon a sight was presented to us I shall never forget. A body lay in the road at our feet, we instantly recognized it as that of Mr Grosvenor, lying on his face, with his head down the hill, stripped of everything but his shirt, & lifeless."

    They burried Grosvenor at the hacienda & Robinson carved his headstone.

    "Tuesday, May 14th
    Maj Stickney & I made an early start for Tubac this morning and arrived there before the stage had left for the fort, which had brought very bad news. The stage that had been expected by the Overland route had started from Mesilla a few days ago, in charge of Mr Mcness with about seven passengers, one of whom was supposed to have been Col Colts agent to take charge of the Cerro Colorado mine, with a large amount of money, say $50,000.
    A provision wagon had gone on before. Some person or persons who had passed over the route, found the two men who were with the provision wagon hanged up by their heels & a fire burning under their heads, but saw nothing of the stage. Two mules however belonging to the stage came into the next station very much cut up. Nothing has been heard from the passengers. It is believed the stage had been robbed & the passengers murdered by Americans from the Pino Alto mines.
    We started up the furnace this evening about seven oclock. This has been a beautiful day."

    Horace C Grosvenor

    Grosvenor's grave at the Hacienda Santa Rita

    Raphael Pumpelly
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    Last edited by Vulture; 05-15-2009 at 02:34 PM.
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    Thumbs up Nice!

    That's some very interesting stuff...keep it going!

    Sometimes reading those old stories, I could swear I've been there and done that. It feels like "home".

    Go figure

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeZona View Post
    That's some very interesting stuff...keep it going!

    Sometimes reading those old stories, I could swear I've been there and done that. It feels like "home".

    Go figure
    Thanks, Deja Vu all over again?

    Todays entry is short so I'll include tomorrows too.

    "Wednesday, 15th. Centigrade 6 am 21 degrees. The furnace has worked well today. Being short of hands Mr Pumpelly, the Major & myself have been pounding ore this PM. A beautiful day.

    Thursday, 16th. Having but 5 Mexicans besides the herders to run the furnace, we have to pound up the ore ourselves, not having had it before commencing to smelt. Another beautiful day."

    The Salero mine, where most of the ore came from.
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    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Raphael Pumpelly revisits Grosvenors grave in 1915.
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    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Great, keep 'em coming. Posting them on their days is a great idea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
    Thanks, Deja Vu all over again?


    Okay 10 characters then

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    Great stories! Any chance the grave and headstone are still there? How about the ruins of the hacienda?

    I get a little lazy about the research, but it might be interesting to compile a list of places named after them that lost their lives during the Apache wars. Maybe some way of honoring them. Stone ave, Cushing street, Pennnington street come to mind.

    Lt Bourke in "On the Border with Crook" has a rather nice bit about standing on top of the Whetstones and realizing all the landmarks are named for fallen friends.

    I greatly appreciate your work in bringing these stories to light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunrise View Post
    Great stories! Any chance the grave and headstone are still there? How about the ruins of the hacienda?

    I get a little lazy about the research, but it might be interesting to compile a list of places named after them that lost their lives during the Apache wars. Maybe some way of honoring them. Stone ave, Cushing street, Pennnington street come to mind.

    Lt Bourke in "On the Border with Crook" has a rather nice bit about standing on top of the Whetstones and realizing all the landmarks are named for fallen friends.

    I greatly appreciate your work in bringing these stories to light.
    The caption on that 1915 photo of the grave reads, "Pumpelly at Grosvenor's grave in the cemetery of the Hacienda during his visit in 1915. The base of the headstone was replaced by Grosvenor's niece in 1934, but the stone has since been broken and has fallen away. Little remains of the Hacienda today."
    This from the 1965 edition of "Pumpelly's Arizona", available but not cheap.

    I belive I know the location of the Hacienda, & if I'm right the topo shows a cemetery there, however...
    It is a private ranch & a neighbor, whose family goes back 4 generations in the Patagonia area, strongly recommended that I not visit. Says the owner is very unfriendly & the property is clearly posted against trespassing. So one of these days I might screw up the courage to visit, whats the worst that can happen?

    <
    Last edited by Vulture; 05-16-2009 at 07:24 AM.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    Default May 17 & 18, 1861

    Friday, 17th, A few drops of rain fell this pm about 3 oclock. Flying clouds-windy at times as it has been for a month. Messers Wolf & [sic]are stopping here tonight on their way to the Fort. They report Wm. Roods, (aka Rhodes) having had fifteen or twenty head of cattle stolen by the Indians on last Tuesday, he with three other men followed them and have not returned or been heard from since. [Nelson] Van Alstine had several cattle lanced in his corral last night.

    Saturday, 18th, Mr Wolf & companion left for the Fort this morning. Wiezant and one or two of the Mexicans went to Tubac today. Stopped the furnace last night about one olock, having run out of litharge, and today all is quiet,hardly anybody at work. The mule, Jinny, had a colt last night. This has been a cold and chilly day with high winds.

    <
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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